No change to car parking strategy

AN ATTEMPT to change the council’s decision over its car parking strategy – which includes changing people to park – was voted down by the Conservatives on Thursday.

Boston Borough Council’s Environment and Performance Committee met to reconsider the plans after a ‘call-in’ request was made by Labour councillors Paul Kenny, Paul Goodale and Paul Gleeson and independent Carol Taylor.

The councillors were concerned that there had been inadequate consultation, particularly of disabled people, and that there was insufficient evidence to make the decision on.

They were also concerned that the council measured disabled people’s ability to reach pay machines by putting an ‘abled-bodied’ member of staff in a wheelchair.

Coun Gleeson asked what consultation had been done to help develop the strategy.

He said: “What outside bodies were consulted and spoken to? Where was it reported what they said and where was the policy adapted?”

Economic development officer Ian Martin said the council had used a consultation document carried out four years ago by Tribal Consultants.

He added the majority of the document would be subject to regular reviews to find out where it could be improved.

When asked where he had got 30 minutes for the amount of free time disabled people would get when parking, Coun Derek Richmond said he had considered 38 years of experience as his wife was a Blue Badge holder.

Coun Gloria Smith, said she had been a Blue Badge holder since 1994.

She said: “It’s nice that we are not going to be discriminated against, we are going to be treated as equal and being charged.”

In a closing statement Coun Richmond gave a commitment that anything decided as part of the strategy would come back to the committee.

It was then decided the strategy would go ahead as planned.

The vote was six to three in favour of the decision, with Couns Judith Skinner, Gloria Smith, Paul Mould, Mary Wright, Colin Brotherton and Mark Baker voting for and Couns Helen Staples, Paul Gleeson and Carol Taylor against.